Doing the right thing.
In 1966, I sat in Dearborn station in Chicago awaiting a train that would ulitmately take me to Viet Nam, and while I knew that I likely had no choice, I was conflicted. A part of me sensed that this war was likely illegal, and another part knew that war was not the decision of a righteous man. And yet the train was announced, I got on and I went even though, then, I could not have put into words why. Now I can. I got on that train, and ultimately did my duty because I was not being asked to only obey the orders that I agreed with, but with those as well that I did not agree with. This is called the Rule of Law. As a soldier who had taken an oath to the Constituion, it was my duty to follow all lawful orders. And as a citizen it is my duty, as well as yours to follow even those laws that you do not agree with.
Donald Trump has been elected president, and truthfully I am tired of saying I did not vote for him, or don't like him. "We the People" elected him. It doesn't matter what you or I think of him. It is over. And just because a coward like John McCain is boycotting him does not mean that it is okay. Our willingness to obey and enforce even those laws that we disagree with is the very fabric of the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Without it we are lost, and in your complicitous decision to recommend that others boycott Trump, you are sacrificing the certainty that your children and grandchildren have an opportunity for the freedom of choice that you seem to take so lightly.
While in Viet Nam, I lost a number of friends, and watched two young men blown to bits by one of our own artillery shells. I am certain that no one asked them in that moment just prior to the explosion if they were there by choice. It didn't matter. So the next time you consider such an irrational, cowardly act, consider that someday soon it could be your child on the receiving end, Or perhaps he will survive, and simply bring home with him the physical or psychological wounds guranteed by war, and consider that that wound may be directly proportional to your ability to do the right thing.
And no, given the same circumstances today, I would not again make the same choice that I made in 1966. I have learned. I have learned that those who send you not only will treat you badly when you return, but do not, before, during or after your tour support you, for they are not true patriots.
Have we forgotten that a big reason John McCain was not elected president was an organization called "Veterans against McCain" who knew him as the coward that he is. And to my Oregon representatives who have chosen to boycott the inauguration I say: "Get off your dead asses, and do the right thing whether you like it or not.